The 13th Annual Native American Cinema Showcase Is On!

Casey St. Charnez - August 11, 2013

'A treasure-packed morning, afternoon, and evening roster of features, documentaries, shorts and more.'

This week, the New Mexico Museum of History is knee-deep in Indian Market activity, with free daily movies, as part of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ ancillary Native American Cinema Showcase, now in its 13th year.

A treasure-packed morning, afternoon, and evening roster of features, documentaries, shorts, works-in-progress, workshops, and panel discussions runs every day, from Monday August 12 through Sunday August 18

Some of the more intriguing presentations include: 

* Monday’s 7pm “The Lesser Blessed” (2012), about a Canadian 16-year-old on and off the rez;

* Tuesday’s 3pm “The Searchers” (1956), the classic John Ford/John Wayne western that may reveal a different subtext in a SWAIA context; 

* Wednesday’s 3:30-6pm “Images of Indians,” a five-part series originally shown in 1979-80 on PBS, narrated by the late Will Sampson, whose daughter will host discussion afterwards;

* Thursday’s 7pm program of juried film winners, including animated, narrative, documentary, and experimental shorts, plus the feature “Young Lakota” (2013), all repeated at 3pm Sunday;

* Friday’s 4:30pm “Future Voices of New Mexico,” showcasing film and video works by young Native artists;

* Saturday’s 9pm “The Dead Can’t Dance” (2011), a zombie/Indian flick at—please note--the Railyard, with an undead “Zombie Night in the Park” fest starting at 8:30pm

* and Sunday’s 1pm “Off the Rez” (2011) about Native women’s basketball in Oregon.

There’s a tantalizing rumor that the superbly Navajo-dubbed version of George Lucas’ Star Wars” (1977) might unspool at 9pm Saturday, but that’s unconfirmed. It’s the first major movie ever re-voiced in Navajo, and they’re supposed to have done a really good job, right down to the newly translated opening crawl. How I ached to be in Window Rock for the premiere July 3, but alas--I just couldn't manage it. This single Santa Fe showing isn’t officially on the schedule, so it’s a question of if, not when. Worse yet, I hear no plans to release it theatrically or to home media. So if this does show up, it’s a must-see.

More info:

* NM History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave., 505-476-5200 or

* Full schedule and notes here

And did I mention that it’s all free?